Despite being a household name entertainment brand since the early 2000s, Xbox had lost market share in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa). Having not launched a new console since 2013 and focusing efforts within English-speaking markets meant that its biggest rival, PlayStation, had taken the lead in sell-thru of hardware, visibility in the market and winning the trust of consumers across the EMEA market.

EMEA houses several growth markets that are critical to the future of the business so, as Xbox prepared to launch their new console generation - the Series X|S - we knew that we needed to operate differently. We had to win back gamers in the EMEA market.

Strategy and Execution

Kicking off with the Preview programme, a small number of 'test' consoles were shared with key media and content creators to start the advocacy ball rolling. These preview participants were able to access content 2 months prior to launch and served the dual purpose of acting as a test bed, reporting back initial thoughts, issues and opinions, as well as drawing them closer to the Xbox brand.

The Assembly team then delivered more than 1000 consoles to creators and media across EMEA as part of the Reviews programme, delivering against both visibility and advocacy. This was the largest creator seeding activity In Xbox's history in EMEA, as we strengthened relationships in every market and built a new generation of advocates across the region.

To land an EMEA specific narrative, we devised two key storytelling beats, both of which delivered on our ‘No Gamer Gets Left Behind’ messaging leading with messaging that was directly relevant to EMEA. Both stories were delivered in a number of markets that haven't previously had access to global spokespeople. Local spokespeople from each market were also interviewed as part of the story narrative to help deliver clarity on how the Xbox Global strategy played out in their market, whilst demonstrating commitment from the business to provide relevant local voices.

We also created localised pieces of video content for 8 separate markets, featuring Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, who introduced the content in local language – including Arabic and Polish - and delivered a 'thank you' message to fans in each country.

As our relationship with the client grew, so did the budgets. Ongoing conversations with the client about our growth markets unlocked budget to bring on board a small team In the Edelman Riyadh office to work alongside the EMEA team from October onwards, driving relationship-building activity In KSA and building huge visibility for the brand In Saudi Arabia.

Business outcome

  • In total, this work has resulted in over 84M views on videos to date.
  • We pulled off the largest creator seeding the teams have executed in the regions' history, notably larger than the Xbox One campaign.
  • Narrative based storytelling/interviews in 15 separate publications/markets Including El Pais (ESP), True Gaming (KSA), TASS (RU)
  • 2300+ pieces of coverage across all markets in launch week alone
  • Xbox Series X trending in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia